Markers, Part II, and Other Thoughts

I wrote about “Markers” and how some things/pictures/words just resonate with you and I speculated that maybe they come with spiritual “markers.” I suppose you could interpret that as meaning it has a big flag attached that draws your attention, or that is has been highlighted, with, say, a yellow magic highlighter. You may not even receive the significance of it right away, but it sits there, vibrating in your conscious.

I remember many years ago reading the book IT by Stephen King. At one point little brother Georgie was standing on the stairs, afraid to go down into the basement. He looked over and saw a tin of Turtle Wax on the wall shelf. He was momentarily transfixed by it, but didn’t know why. King went on about the spiritual significance of the turtle.

I wonder if King understands the significance of markers and thinks about them the same way I do. I don’t recall ever hearing anyone talk about this, have you?

You can hear the same old cliches, sayings, and expressions, see the same old objects and sites and pictures, and one day what was previously mundane can slap you in the face. It has been given a marker!

As a preteen I was exposed to the Baptist religion by my father’s mother, and learned there to add, “In Jesus’ name I pray” or “I ask this in Jesus’ name” because they believe we only get to heaven through Christ. This habit became ingrained in me but I did not understand the significance of it. I said it quietly, and in my head. Some prayers I wanted to pray did not get prayed because next to this ending, they seemed trivial and worthless. It sounded funny to me. Countless times I asked God over the years if I really had to. (Awwww…do I have to, ma?) Eventually God answered.

In case you haven’t noticed, Jesus has never been considered a terribly cool name with the mainstream society. Claiming Him as your friend does not garner a lot of popularity. Usually at best you will be politely tolerated. I suppose at worst, you might have been boiled in a vat of oil.

Habit caused me to pray this way, but my heart was just not in it. I felt that all paths lead to God, that God’s plan is mysterious, and that all will return to God eventually. It is not for me to understand everyone’s path and plan, only to listen and act.

I had always heard that Jesus had said if any man is ashamed of Him, He will be ashamed of that man in front of His Father. This always made me a tiny bit nervous, and seemed small-minded considering the Source, but I didn’t dwell on it.

Then, one day, a few weeks ago, it slammed me: it came with a marker. I heard or read it again and for no apparent reason, this time it sat in my mind vibrating and STARING at me. I suddenly saw it in a whole new way. Just imagine, when you were a child, if you had made friends with a really awesome kid. You thought that you and he really connected, really bonded, ahd great times, greats laughs, and everythings was joyous when you were with him. Your life suddenly just blew wide open with this new blessing. Then, one day, you are with him and run into a group of his friends you do not know.

Suddenly, he turns his back on you and treats you like a dog, like something attached to his shoe. His friends laugh at you, eye you with smirks and amusement, roll their eyes, make “knowing” comments under their breath. They scorn you, and your hairs stand on end with horror and the realization of your rejection. You are ALONE. You feel sick to your stomach.

Would you want to introduce this kind of “friend” to your family and bring them into your HOME?  Introduce them to your mother and father? Your siblings? Oh, HELL, no!

This is what you are doing to His Son, when you are ashamed of Him. When this analogy, made for me, personally, to bring home the point,  hit me, I saw it in a whole new light.

I asked for forgiveness, and I YELLED my prayer ending with pride. (Go ahead, roll those eyes, LOL! ) I continued to pray aloud until it became ingrained in me and I could feel the approval BLOOMING! in me, like a physical  warmth in my veins. I KNEW I had done the right thing and the blessings began to arrive by the TRUCKLOAD. My spiritual ‘phone line’ opened up and the ‘calls’ started pouring in.

I do not believe Muslims are going to hell. Or Buddhists. Or even atheists. I am not sure hell is actually for humans. I do not know the details of hell, and do not want to. My gut tells me this is not for me to concern myself with, and to listen to what I receive and share it. I believe God has a plan for every human being, and their path to Him is a mystery I do not understand, nor is it any of my business. Your business with God is YOUR business, and I will not tell you you are wrong. I will only live as I feel is right, and hope that something positive comes from the WATCHING.

Even Billy Graham, Baptist Preacher, said God may send him to another planet to work! The only evangelist I ever loved, this raised my respect and joy in him even more. God says to me, “Don’t fret, little donkey, you just do what *I* tell you to do and let Me worry about the rest.” This is what I can handle. I do not believe God will give you a bigger job than you can handle.

It is not for me to judge. MY mission is to share my blessings and tell. People are WATCHING, always, and they may never say a word, but what you do and say affects them. You never know what ripples your positive or negative behavior may cause. That is why I believe it is more effect not to criticize, but rather to quietly live/be how you feel is right, and be an example.  The damage you cause with the tiniest rude or critical comment needs 7 positive things to cancel it out. It sits and vibrates hatefully in people’s countenance.  It is harmful.

My next challenge was the expression “Praise the Lord.” I have always hated that expression.

I associated it with annoying foolish television evangelists and a certain angry, challenging, argumentative relative (no, not the grandmother) who would say it and smile with angry, intense eyes. YIKES!

For this challenge, I received a song.

It was divinely inspired-just came at me all at once, complete with a tune! I have sung it about a million times since. “Praise the Lord” is a major part of the words. It has an addictive tune, and I could not stop singing it! The expression is becoming more and more comfortable to me. I cannot call it out like the more devout, but it is working on me. I am continually adding more to it, too.

I want to leave you with this picture from my good friend Romeow. She sent this to me a while back and it came with markers. It just stuck in my mind’s eye and I kept seeing it with pleasure.  Finally, I put a border on it and captioned it and it says exactly how it effects me. Thank you, Romeow, for this beautiful picture of your babies. Here, TJ is watching La Luz joyfully do the “pushy paws” on the floofy rug..

(PS…to those of you who are watching, I have not had a drink since my post, and do not miss it.  PRAISE THE LORD!)

WATCHING

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7 Comments

  1. I like the caption you put on the picture. Your version is truer than the origional, I think.
    In my church we teach that some people are called to the ordained ministry, and some to mission and service ministries, but everyone is called to the ministry of witness. We teach that this means living our life so that it shows the teachings of Jesus. Instead of words we are using deeds to express God’s love and to show the way for others. I think it is the hardest ministry really, after all talk is cheap, but living takes work. It’s a difficult path but as you know there are rewards.
    AND I know what you mean about being uncomfortable with certain phrases. I like to use “God bless” but feel awkward and afraid of offending others. A lot of the evangelical language bothers me, because of the misuse by certain preacher types, but I try to find alternatives that fit my style and carry on. It is a process and hopefully I am growing wiser because it.
    Anyway that’s enough preaching for now, so God bless, and good night, Judith

  2. Each of us has our own gifts, talents, and abilities. Our responsibility is to lives our lives the best way we know how…and leave a positive impression with every new person who’s life intersects ours. You are doing exactly that, Kafleen. Your words, your sweet spirit, and your positive attitude make those who know you proud that they do! Keep up the good work, little donkey.
    BTW, have you ever heard the old Christmas Song “Little Grey Donkey”?? If not, I would love to send you the lyrics…it is by far my favorite Christmas song of all time.

  3. Hay, sweetie—i’m officially a cheezfriend! They wouldn’t take altosinger—said it was already taken. but i inverted it to singeralto. Such fun. Snowing today for the third day in a row. What was that about global warming, Mr. Gore? I love this post, BTW—we all come to the truth of some of these old “Christianese” expressions at different points and for different reasons! Have to run—hope to hear from you later. Remember that GOD is bigger than whatever is going on right now, and He is with you: “I will never leave you or forsake you.” You are much on my heart today—know you are loved. And don’t listen to brimstone breath calling you a failure. He’s a liar, and the father of the lie! “Thou wilt keep him(or her) in perfect peace, whose mind is staid on Thee.”–Isaiah 26:3 Love you bunches! —Janey

  4. o hai Kafleen!

    You warned me {wink!} about your “religious” blog. I’m not afraid. I think you’re one of those rare people who are both religious *and* spiritual. (Me, I’m spiritual without religion, and we’ve all met the ones who are religious without spirituality) …… anyway, I like your description of ripples and your description of markers. I feel that way about certain songs / musical passages; it’s like the chords are all just perfect.

    I have had small yet utterly amazing things happen in my world, things that have put me back on the right path, have clicked into place so cleverly you could all but hear it echoing. Utterly coincidental things that, taken alone, seem like just that: coincidence…. but taken as a group, remind me that there’s something keeping me on-track.

    You call it God, Christ, etc.

    I call it Universe, but I think it’s all the same. 😉

    –Em

  5. Ohai hunney

    ai maded yew a lolcat an ai didn’t even eat it
    http://mine.icanhascheezburger.com/View.aspx?ciid=1084925

    ai’m so proud of yew and wut yr going thru……. it’s been 1.5 years for me without a drink….. had a couple of ugly situations that made me realize i needed to get my headout!!! an then ai got my shit together and followed up on health issues and now I’m just 4 weeks away from the end of my Hep C treatment!! who knows how long ai wud have put that off……… that’s what the alcohol does.

    I’m struggling with a couple of “friends” one of whom is my sister who is always, you don’t mind if I have a drink do you…….. hell yes!! I don’t want to get sucked into the oh just one won’t hurt. and you know where it goes then!! So I’m going to have to be upfront when I go anywhere with certain folks and ask that they not put me on the spot. blah blah blah

    but I know you will work thru it…. my IRL email is jamclaughlin@comcast.net and if you want to talk let me know and I’ll send you my number or vise versa………you are such a special person and I am so happy to find you ….. such a silly little thing to bring such joy and friendships into our lives!!!

    take care hunney and stay in touch…………. Jeanne

    Kafleen says: Oh, that’s wonderful!! I went and saw the picture!! I am delighted! I added it to my favorites and saved it in my Pictures. It’s so colorful and pretty, too! Thank you so much!

    And thank you for sharing your experience, and for your email…I must admit, our cheezfrens can attest I have not been so faithful with the emails (hangs head) but I will do my best, haha! Now I’m going to try to add your beautiful picture on here to share with everyone.

  6. I know this is your blog, Kafleen – not Elfi’s… but I want to respond to her as well. I just read Elfi’s post and saw a description of myself — spiritual but not religious. I think Elfi did a very nice job of explaining that… but I digress.

    Kafleen — YOU seem to be the kind of Christian I wish all Christians were. Too often, people who publicly identify themselves as “Christian” act with hate and intolerance in their hearts, which seems very un-Christian to me. You clearly have love in your heart. You seem to “get” that religion can have a tremendously positive effect on people – and that religion should not be used as a club with which to batter unbelievers. My hat is off to you. ;o)

  7. dear Kafleen,

    I just happened to stumble across your blog while thumbing through lolcats; and I just wanted to say it is inspiring to read and i’m glad to see that some people’s hearts are connected with God and the religious / spiritual life. God is like a stream that quenches you – and you didn’t realize you were thirsty all those years until you partake. It is wonderful. So, may Christ bless you and all those around you always.

    thank you for this post
    in love and appreciation 🙂
    Anthony

    my favorite spiritual books:
    Screwtape Letters – C.S. Lewis
    Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle


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